Will Celexa work if Lexapro didn’t? (5+ factors)

In this article, we will explore whether Celexa would work if Lexapro didn’t. Furthermore, we will discuss the comparison between Celexa and Lexapro, the contributing factors, and how is Celexa beneficial compared to Lexapro. 

Will Celexa work if Lexapro didn’t?

Celexa may work if Lexapro does not work for some individuals in treating depression. Celexa and Lexapro both belong to the same class of drugs that is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Both Celexa and Lexapro are effective antidepressants, however, one may work for some individuals while the other does not. 

Celexa and Lexapro work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, a chemical neurotransmitter in the synaptic regions of the brain. Serotonin regulates sleep, mood, appetite, and the body’s stress response (1,2). 

How is Celexa compared to Lexapro?

The comparison between Celexa and Lexapro is discussed in detail below:

Therapeutic uses 

Celexa is FDA-approved to treat depression in adults 18 years and older. However, in clinical settings, it can be used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and other related mental disorders (1). 

On the other hand, Lexapro is FDA-approved to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in pediatric patients and adults. Lexapro can also be used to treat panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (2). 

Dosage recommendations 

Celexa is available in 10mg, 20mg, and 40mg tablets and an oral solution of 10mg/5ml. Celexa is started at an initial dose of 20mg and a maximum dose of 40mg taken once a day with or without food (1). 

On the other hand, Lexapro is available in 5mg, 10mg, or 20mg tablets and an oral solution of 1mg/ml. The starting dose of Lexapro is 10mg and the daily maximum limit is 20mg with or without food (2). 

Side effects 

Some common side effects associated with Celexa and Lexapro are quite similar such as nausea, diarrhoea or constipation, drowsiness, fatigue, weight changes, insomnia, dry mouth, and sexual side effects (1,2).

What are the contributing factors for Lexapro’s ineffectiveness?

The contributing factors for Lexapro’s ineffectiveness may include the following:

Genetic variations

People may vary from one another in their genetic makeup. They may also differ in how their bodies respond to the medications. Lexapro being an effective antidepressant may not be suitable for some individuals as they do not respond well (3). 

Delayed onset of action

Antidepressants like Lexapro may not show improvement in the early phase of treatment. When patients do not observe any improvement in the initial phase, they may stop taking Lexapro which may lead to its ineffectiveness.

Sudden discontinuation of Lexapro is not advisable as it may also lead to withdrawal symptoms. However, Lexapro may take up to 4 to 6 weeks to show its complete therapeutic effects (4). 

Underlying health conditions

Lexapro alone may be ineffective for individuals who have other underlying medical conditions along with depression. In a comorbid condition such as bipolar depression, Lexapro should be administered in combination with mood stabilizers to be effective (5).  

Drug interactions

Lexapro when used along with medications that may interact with it, leads to its ineffectiveness. Despite being an effective antidepressant, Lexapro may cause a rare but life-threatening condition known as serotonin syndrome, when taken in combination with medicines such as dextromethorphan and rasagiline (6,7). Therefore, it is necessary to inform your healthcare provider about the medications you are using, even if they are over-the-counter medications. 

Non-adherence to treatment plan

When Lexapro is not taken as per the doctor’s recommendation, it may lead to its ineffectiveness. Skipping the doses, not taking them at the same time every day, or sudden discontinuation may lead to Lexapro’s ineffectiveness and may also cause withdrawal symptoms (8). 

Environmental factors 

Some external factors such as stressful situations, lifestyle, societal pressure, or inadequate support from loved ones, may also lead to the antidepressant’s efficacy. In such cases, therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might be useful for patients (9). 

How is Celexa beneficial compared to Lexapro?

Celexa may be beneficial for patients who do not respond well to Lexapro. Some patients may experience better tolerance to Celexa and may have lower side effects and improvement in depression symptoms compared to Lexapro. 

These variations among individuals may be due to their genetic makeup and physiological response to Lexapro. Celexa is a generic medication, therefore its access and availability might not be an issue in certain regions compared to Lexapro which is a brand medication. 

Some healthcare providers may also prefer to recommend Celexa over Lexapro, due to certain reasons such as their personal experience with Lexapro, patients’ family or medical history. 

As per my research analysis, Celexa might be considered as an alternative to Lexapro. Lexapro despite being an effective antidepressant, may not be suitable for some individuals due to some factors that may lead to its ineffectiveness. 

Therefore, your healthcare provider must evaluate your overall condition, family or medical history, and response to the medication during antidepressant treatment and take the decision accordingly. Do not change or stop taking your medicines without consulting your healthcare provider. 


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